Hello and thanks for reading.  This one is from a request from a reader who had wanted to help explain M2M to their sports-loving father-in-law.  I hope it helped!

When one thinks of M2M, the usual thinking is that M2M is only used for business applications.  While many of the early adoption of M2M technology was in the world of business, it is also starting to make its way into the wide world of sports.

Here are a few different ways that M2M is making a difference in sports:

On-board telematics for Auto racing  When you watch any of the major auto racing circuits on TV, it is amazing the amount of data that is available to the home viewer.  The viewer is able to follow many different things that are going on in the car, including its current velocity, its RPM/choice of gears, when the vehicle is braking and much more.  This is only a fraction of the information that is being gathered by on-board sensors on the vehicle and being sent back to the pit crews.  They are able to monitor the health of the engine, transmission, tires and many other vital parts to the safe operation of the vehicle.  This reduces unnecessary repairs and increases the safety for the drivers.  Much of the same technology has made its way into every day vehicles, such as in the GM on-board offering that allows drivers to have certain diagnostics done remotely.

Marathon tracking made easy  While on-board sensors are being used to track race vehicles, many other kinds of races use telematics as well.  One great example is the RFID chips that are becoming common in many running races.  Strategically placed RFID readers are able to detect when a runner cross a certain threshold (such as the start/finish line and particular mile markers).  Since many races are done on regular commuter roads, wireless modems are also often used to feed back the data in real time to a central host (to make up for the lack of a permanent landline being available).  This allows family members to see the progress of a runner in real time, as well as for great historical data for the runner to gauge their performance (such as too fast of a start/fading at the end or what pace works best for certain conditions).  This technology has also found its way into many bicycle races as well.

Even non-marathon runners are getting into the act  With the advent of the smartphone, consumers now had a device that they often carried which is capable of transmitting GPS enabled information (plus, it played some killer tunes to keep you motivated while you ran).  Thanks to key players such as Nike, many applications now exist to allow for key pieces of information (such as distance run, pace and even heart rate monitoring) to be uploaded in real time to a hosted application.  The athlete is able to chart performance using their smartphone....or in my case, allows my spouse to find me when I get lost (true story, not particularly proud of it, actually).

Taking it to the extreme....safely  Finally, many extreme sports, such as extreme skiiing and snowmobiling have made the experience much more safe by incorporating GPS tracking systems.  These systems, similar to work-alone systems used for remote Oil/Gas and Mining workers, allow for the GPS location to be transmitted over reliable satellite connections in the event that someone is either unable to speak or is buried under a pile of snow.

Now read another post by Larry called: M2M in Everyday Life

As always, let Novotech know how we can help you with your M2M needs, even if it is for “non-business” activities.  Check us out @ www.novotech.com.  You can also follow me on Twitter @LBNovotechM2M.